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Music Critics' Picks: Thomas Mudrick, Velocity, Blackstone Rangers, Angie and the Car Wrecks

Feb. 21-22: Live music in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

Angie and the Car Wrecks claim to be mad scientists, and all of their patchwork monsters will be on display for your sick and sordid auditory needs. Photo courtesy of Facebook

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Thomas Mudrick's music is a thrilling and unexpected stew of genres, calling to mind musical chameleons like Beck and Ween, but with a dedicated love of light psychedelia and soul. "Soul Glow" is a breezy bit of '70s beach funk, layered with dreamy aaahs and wah-wah guitars. "Do Me Like Jesus," with its winsome acoustic guitars and vibrant stomp, comes across like a long-lost party band from a defunct desert festival. Interspersed between Mudrick's more rock-oriented songs are bits of stripped down hip-hop ("Banana Peel") and world music-indebted electronica ("Boomarangatang"), adding to the kaleidoscopic experimentation that seems to define his music. While not every experiment hits the mark - a necessary risk when you're swinging so far afield - it's refreshing to hear an artist like Thomas Mudrick taking these kinds of loopy chances. {REV. ADAM MCKINNEY}

THOMAS MUDRICK, w/ Garage Heroes, Black Nite Crash, 9 p.m., The New Frontier Lounge, 301 E. 25th St., Tacoma, $5, 253.572.4020


Here comes one of the best, a dude who gets more lyrical and fierce with each passing year. While I enjoy Cliff Colon's stark beauty tenor saxophone paired with singer/wife Sommer Stockinger, and his furious face-offs with fellow saxman Kareem Kandi, it's when he frosts the fusion and Latin funk that I completely lose it. Such will be the case Saturday when he and Velocity cram into Doyle's corner. With Peter Adams on keys, Rob Hutchinson on bass, Brian Smith on drums, this band knows how to keep lots of balls in the air at once. I don't need to tell you about the advantages of a small venue, right? {RON SWARNER}

VELOCITY, 9:30 p.m., Doyle's Public House, 208 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma, no cover, 253.272.7468


The music made by Blackstone Rangers is not immediately what one would imagine when thinking about the music that comes out of Dallas, Texas. While Blackstone Rangers are indeed Dallasites, their music strays from the rock and country that you might expect. Rather, Blackstone Rangers veer into dreampop territory, allowing their synths to wash along, unabated by unobtrusive drum machine patter. While occasional outbursts do arise, Blackstone Rangers seem largely content to embrace ambience and to let mood carry their songs. If the tempo should ever pick up and start to rush along, it always carries with it an unidentifiable sense of menace, as opposed to any sort of jubilant or anthemic energy. Led by bleary vocals from Ruth Smith, Blackstone Rangers project a gauzy intrigue. {REV. AM}

BLACKSTONE RANGERS, w/ People Under the Sun, Midday Veil, 9 p.m., Bob's Java Jive, 2102 South Tacoma Way, Tacoma, $5, 253.475.9843


I love my music-writing gig. I can choose to preview any show I want. There isn't a scene I'm attached to. I'm not stuck with dreadlocks or a mohawk or a cowboy hat or a fedora or a trucker cap. I can listen to whatever I want, whatever the mood, and I can write about it with sincerity. That being said, this week's mood is f---ing punk rock. And the band I'm previewing - Angie and the Car Wrecks - is talented, with pulsing and grinding and gnarly lead female vocals. It's speedy and tight, gets you in the gut and revs your engine. Punkabilly might describe them, but so does psychobilly, blues, country and metal, a nice hybrid if you ask me. Please, go and see Angie and the Car Wrecks live. Your primal parts will thank you. {NIKKI MCCOY}

ANGIE AND THE CAR WRECKS, w/The Load Levelers, The Assassinators, 10 p.m., McCoy's Tavern, 418 Fourth Ave., Olympia, 360.352.0696

LINK: Live music calendar for the South Sound

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